CONCERNS have been raised about the use of a temporary cabin facility while the £25.5m redevelopment of the Sands Centre is completed.

City council chiefs have reassured the public that a “full and exciting” entertainments programme will continue throughout the redevelopment of the Sands Centre.

However, flooding and noise concerns have been raised about the facility.

Carlisle City Council planners approved the temporary facility – which will be used while the £25.5m redevelopment of the Sands is completed – on December 31. The temporary facility is expected to be used for two years, with the application granting permission for it to be used for three years.

Work on the cabin, and at the former Newman School site, will begin in the next couple of months, with early works on the overall Sands Centre project starting during the Christmas period.

Flood prevention works at the Sands are also now underway.

Planning consent for the part demolition of the Sands Centre was given last February, with the new site facilities including a swimming pool hall with an auditorium, sports hall, fitness suite, a bar and an NHS physiotherapy suite.

The aim of the cabin facility is to provide ancillary support to the Sands Centre entertainment offering during the redevelopment, providing a bar and meeting area, toilets, a female changing facility, a finishing kitchen and a beer cellar. The main entertainment arena will remain open throughout the redevelopment.

Temporary sport and fitness facilities will be provided from the former Newman School site on Lismore Place.

“The redevelopment of the Sands will be a fantastic facility,” said Louise Atkinson, city councillor for the Castle ward. “It is going through the stages now. It is much needed. It will be good to have the pool and sports facilities all in one, but we need to get it right.

“We want to get it right. We are on with it, we’ve looked at all of the proposed plans, but we don’t want to rush it.”

Fellow ward councillor Chris Robinson says residents have raised noise and nuisance concerns about the erection of the temporary cabin.

John Kelsall, of Carlisle Flood Action Group, said: “It is generally known to be behind existing defences, but the problem with physical defences is if they are breached, the water’s trapped in. We really should be thinking very carefully about building permanent structures in those areas.”

A Carlisle City Council spokesman said: “The cabins will be fitted out to accommodate reception, bar, catering and toilet facilities for the duration of the Sands redevelopment. All events will still take place in the main hall. The duration will be until approximately winter 2021/2022.

“During the period of the redevelopment GLL will still be delivering a full and exciting entertainments programme, and the provision of temporary accommodation will ensure that this programme can go ahead.

“We hope the temporary facilities will meet the expectations of loyal and new customers whilst we improve the whole centre.”

A GLL spokesman said: “We’re very happy with the alternative provision for both leisure and events that is being put in place.”